It’s a beautiful Sunday. It’s sunny, and the marina is as calm as a mill pond. Lawrance has just finished his breakfast, and is doing this, that and the other.

He serviced the engine, a couple of days ago, and after that we had a diesel leak. We did get a new diesel pipe, but we’re not sure if it is still leaking a bit. So when he starts the engine I’m not worried. I just keep crocheting. But all the sudden I hear the the boat getting into gear, and WRT starts moving.

Now I’m absolutely terrified. Trying to move the boat with the mooring lines still on? What does he think he’s doing?

Taking me out for a Valentine’s Meal!

On hindsight I do remember seeing him on the front of the boat. But at breakfast we discussed an alteration to the lid of the gas locker, so I did think nothing of it. And never heard him taking the TV aerial down, and get the mooring line off.

So that’s us, on our first cruise of 2016. All the way to the New Scarisbrick Arms Restaurant. It is a bit cold, but sunny; our solar panels are working fine.

We have a very nice meal at the restaurant, but when we go back to the boat we feel it: it’s f*****g cold. Time to put some more coal on the fire, and empty the ash pan.

Empty the ash pan into…? That should go: into the ash bucket. And where is the ash bucket? On the jetty in the marina!
So we end up very carefully carrying the hot ashes (in the ash pan) via the well deck to outside the boat. Did I say we…? No, Lawrance. Because I’m wearing a skirt, and I’m scared to death to trip and sending the hot ashes flying all over the boat.

French Lilies

When I get up, the next morning, it  is absolute freezing. It’s only 18ºC inside, and outside everything is white. It’s still sunny, though, so I don’t have to worry about our batteries (when Lawrance wakes up, and I can check the batteries, they are on 13.7V and rising, great!). It’s also a bit windy, but nothing to worry about. The only thing I am a bit worried about is our fridge. It has miraculously defrosted itself (again). Not that I can do anything about it…

So after breakfast we set off, back to the marina. Suddenly the ripples in the canal disappear, and we hear a very strange sound: we’re going through ice!

Breaking the ice

Breaking the ice

Yes, I know, cruising through ice should be avoided. Ice acts as sandpaper, and takes the blackening off (less work for Willow Boat Painting then). Not only from our boat, but also from the boats we pass. And I know that, if the ice is really thick, it might damage a Tupperware boat. And it certainly damages your ears, as I find out when I walk through the boat to get my camera. What a noise!

Luckily the ice is not thick, and we don’t have any problems in bends. Carefully we pass two more places we’re the canal is frozen. After that it’s the usual Lancashire weather: bloody windy. Therefore I won’t dwell on how Lawrance got WRT back, next to our own ash bucket…

Ash pan – aslade

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